The Debacle of 51% Attack on Ethereum Classic: ETC Outperforming ETH

Anjali Tyagi Altcoin News PublishedJanuary 14, 2019 | ModifiedJanuary 14, 2019


The Debacle of 51% Attack on Ethereum Classic: ETC Outperforming ETH

The 51 percent attack on Ethereum Classic blockchain took a turn when the hacker returned $100k worth of ETC. Even after the attack, Ethereum Classic price remained unaffected to the most part and in the week after this incident, ETC actually outperformed ETH.

$100k Worth of ETC Returned by Hacker

On January 7th, Coinbase had identified a deep chain reorganization of the Ethereum Classic (ETC) blockchain along with double spend and took stock of multiple double spends on its network.

In an interesting turn of events,  last week the hacker responsible for the 51% attack on ETC blockchain returned 100k USD worth of tokens. According to the official blog by,

“On Jan.10, we found that the recent ETC 51% attacker returned 100k USD value of ETC back to

We were trying to contact the attacker but we haven’t got any reply until now.

We still don’t know the reason. If the attacker didn’t run it for profit, he might be a white hacker who wanted to remind people the risks in blockchain consensus and hashing power security.”

This certainly got the attention of the crypto community however if it was a white hacker or a gray hacker as some are saying, that’s up for debate.

Amidst this, Litecoin creator, Charlie Lee took to Twitter to state that a decentralized cryptocurrency is, in fact, vulnerable to 51 percent attacks by definition.

“By definition, a decentralized cryptocurrency must be susceptible to 51% attacks whether by hashrate, stake, and/or other permissionlessly-acquirable resources. If a crypto can’t be 51% attacked, it is permissioned and centralized.”

In the Week after the Attack: ETC Outperformed ETH by 7%

In wild speculation, some even suggested Ethereum just might be behind this attack in order to discourage developers from migrating to ETC blockchain. One crypto enthusiast stated,

“I’m not all that sure it was a 51% attack at this point. I think what is more likely is that some miners planning to bail ETH rather than switch to POS came over to the ETC network to see if it would be worth mining.”

Well, that has been just the speculation, however, on the price front despite suffering a 51% attack, ETC outperformed Ethereum.


Source: Coinmarketcap


Source: Coinmarketcap

As pointed out by crypto enthusiast Kevin Rooke, Ethereum Classic outperformed Ethereum by about 7 percent in the week after the attack.

Well, as stated by another Twitter user, “you can’t move ETC to any exchanges for sale. So there’s that,” as Coinbase suspended ETC trading after the attack while another exchange OKEx kept it live.

With Ethereum’s Constantinople coming this week, things just might take a turn for the good for the third largest cryptocurrency.

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Anjali Tyagi 440 Articles
Having a background in writing, I worked on a wide array of industry topics and have recently entered the world of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency.
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